Reverse Engineering

She is a pure being,
inherently transient
with her white skin here
on these tarry streets--
she stands on the bleak
corners
with eyes rolled up
in a memory of stars.
The doll lips,
the fine smile.
The ghostly halo
of a better place.

If we strip her down,
can we have her secret
happiness
of eternal youth?
Slough off that skin
with sanded pins;
tack it back
by narrow knives.
Our victory
in the form of calcite
vaults.
Reach in and feel

What makes her tick?
The structure is failing;
no, no more.
Her hair clots in the hand
as the pump slows down;
the sockets sink
the fine coat fades
into our native drudging
grey.
Lungs fail.

Her eyes fall back
like the legacy of stars,
now gone,
in the stringent lights.
The halo holds her head on
reincarnated for stapling wire.
Laid bare she rises no more.
Doctor says--

Next.

AKL 2005